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Greece Rail Travel

Greece Rail Travel

Greece may be best known for its islands, but there are ample attractions on its rail-served mainland to make a superb vacation. Greek train journeys also offer surprisingly diverse landscapes, whether travelling along the coast or through mountains and valleys and across quaint stone bridges.

If your rail journey is limited to the Greek mainland, buying point to point tickets or an in-country pass instead of an international pass might be cheaper, as train travel in Greece is inexpensive.

Available Rail Passes for Greece

  1. Eurail Greece Pass
    Train travel throughout Greece.
  2. Eurail Greece-Italy Pass
    Travel by Train in Greece and Italy.
  3. Eurail Select Pass
    Travel by Train in up to 5 European Countries, you choose which ones.
  4. Eurail Global Pass
    The Premier European Rail Pass traveling in 21 countries!
  5. Balkan Flexipass
    Travel by Train in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey.
  6. Eurail Drive Pass
    The Premier European Rail Pass traveling in 21 countries + Car rental!
  7. Eurail Select Pass & Drive
    Travel by Train in up to 5 European Countries + Car rental, you choose which ones.


Point to Point Greece Train Ticket Prices

If you are looking for city to city train ticket in Greece, please check the prices and schedule from here.


Trains Schedule & Travel Times in Greece

From To Type of Train # of Trains Frequency Travel Time
Athens Corinth Suburban 18 Daily 1 hr 20 min
Athens Kiato Suburban 18 Daily 1 hr 30 min
Athens Thessaloniki ICE, InterCity 6 Daily 4 hr 15 min
Kiato Diakofto InterCity 8 Daily 50 min
Kiato Patras InterCity 4 Daily 1 hr 40 min
Patras Kiato InterCity 18 Daily 1 hr 30 min
Athens Olympia InterCity 4 Daily 2 hr
Thessaloniki Katerini InterCity 13 Daily 40 min
Thessaloniki Xanthi InterCity 8 Daily 3 hr 35 min


Practical Train Information in Greece:

There are different types of trains in Greece, notably the fast and modern InterCity and InterCity Express trains connecting the country’s urban centers, and regional trains that serve local and regional routes.

The Hellenic Railway Organization (OSE; www.ose.gr) publishes a Greek and English pamphlet with timetables, available at train stations and OSE offices. Note that some routes in the pamphlet may not be in operation due to renovation work in progress.

Route information, prices, and so on can be obtained in English by dialing 1110 from any phone in Greece. Operators at 1110 can also take reservations for domestic trains up to a month in advance. You need to have your passport or ID handy, and you must buy the ticket up to 48 hours before departure.

In Athens, tickets can be purchased at all stations, or the two Hellenic Railways Organization ticket offices: Karolou 1 and Sina 6 (Phone: 210/362-7947 or 1110 for domestic).

Rail tickets must be purchased before boarding. Once a train has left a station, inspectors hole-punch to validate tickets. If you don’t have one, the inspector will sell you a ticket and charge you a fine, ranging from 50% of the ticket’s cost for long distance trips, to 20 times as much for regional travel. If you’re sure of your schedule, opt for a round trip ticket and save 20% over the cost of two one-ways.

Even though a train might have a sign saying where it’s headed, ask anyway to double check. Announcements (in Greek) sometimes overrule the destination sign, meaning a train might detour, or terminate before or after the posted destination. Trains also run pretty much on schedule, so if there are two trains at the station leaving a few minutes apart, it is easy to get on the wrong one.

Your ticket will indicate whether you have a first or second class seat, the car number your seat is in and your actual seat number. In major cities, the announcement before the trains arrives includes the order of the cars. Pay attention or ask for assistance because cars don’t always come in numerical order. All OSE trains have reserved seats, except for two trains on the Athens-Thessaloniki route that have standing room tickets if seats are sold out.


Reservation

The Greek railway company, OSE, is one of the few railways that don’t offer the option of making out of country train reservations, except for the few international lines that travel to the country, although you can buy most tickets up to in a month in advance from either Rail Europe or the Hellenic Railways offices in Athens. Reserved tickets must be purchased no less than 48 hours in advance.

Greece Travel Guides

If you’re planning for an excelent trip in Greece, I strongly recommend investing in Rick Steve’s Greece guide book, and the relevant Lonely Planet Guide for in-depth country information on the sights to see, places to stay, places to eat. They’re both are very very useful.


Frommers Greece

Greece Travel Guide Lonely Planet


Service & Amenities

Before the rail system was upgraded, first class travel in Greece was woth the extra cost, but second class seating is now equally comfortable, at least on routes with new cars. You can call 1110 for information on which lines have new wagons, as train cars are called here in English. Overhead rails for duffle bags and small suitcases are available; larger baggage should be checked.

There are three sleeper services on the Athens-Thessaloniki route, prices ranging from 54€ ($70.20) in a single compartment to 24€ ($31.20) in a six bed. The Thessaloniki-Ormenio line that crosses into Bulgaria has two trains with couchettes, and the night train to Turkey has sleepers. A single sleeper compartment is an additional 31.40€ ($40.80), a double is 19.80€ ($25.75) per person, and a three bed is an extra 17.30€ ($22.50). Four bed and six bed couchettes cost 12.70€ ($16.50) and 8.60€ ($11.20) per person respectively.

InterCity trains have a food stand run by one of the country’s top snack shops or attendants selling sandwiches, chips, and refreshments. Some InterCity trains offer restaurant coaches with fairly good and inexpensive food.

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